E3 '09: Day Three – No More Conferences; Lots of Hands-on Impressions

June 4, 2009 § 1 Comment

With all the major conferences now over, most of the reporting from E3 now revolves around hands-on impressions of individual games, interviews, gameplay videos, podcasts and smaller announcements. Since I can’t give you my hands-on impressions of what’s on offer, I can at least point you in the direction of what, I think, are the more interesting articles and features coming out from the gaming press.

From Joystiq, there are a few articles of interest. The first is one that states that Forza Motorsport 3supposedly the “definitive” racing game of this console generation – will be shipping on two disks instead of one. While the first disk is the one you’ll put in the drive to play the game, the second contains various assets and bonus features such as additional cars and courses. Could this be the first sign that Microsoft’s choice of format – the DVD – is finally showing its age? Maybe.

The second article regards Peter Molyneux’s promotion as creative director of Microsoft Games Studios Europe. This isn’t that interesting in itself; in fact, the main reason I paid the article any notice was because of their brilliant picture and caption they had for the piece.

Giant Bomb had an interesting interview with Valve’s Chet Faliszek over Left 4 Dead 2 – a game which has been receiving some mixed reactions across the board. On the one hand, a lot of the fans on the forums feel it’s way too early for sequel; they feel slightly abandoned and are a little worried that this now means that future DLC for the original L4D won’t happen. On the other hand, it’s more Left 4 Dead, plus chainsaws and incendiary bullets – what part of that sentence doesn’t sound awesome? The interview answers some of the questions many L4D fans have been asking themselves, and it personally alleviated some of my fears that this is not just a lazy cash-in for the franchise.

Also on Giant Bomb: the Day Two E3 Bombcast which descended into chaos and mayhem.  Among others, Leigh Alexander came on the podcast for the discussion and, boy, did she have a lot to discuss! Leigh frequently dominated and monopolised the conversation, often trampling over the responses of others to further justify her own opinion. When she was talking, though – and that was, well, most of the time – she came out with some really interesting, and absolutely spot-on, observations about E3, the console platforms, the asexuality of Resident Evil and the myth of PlayStation Home (and of virtual worlds in general). She has since apologised on her own blog for her behavior, so I don’t want to shame her or anything like that. I actually recommend you give it a listen, if only for Ryan’s reaction (“are you fucking out of your mind?!”) to her assertion of Nazi SS uniforms being “objectively sexy”. It was pretty funny, and I fully recommend you have a look at her blog at Sexy Videogameland as well as Gamasutra – the site at which she works as News Director. I hope to hear her on further Bombcasts in the future.

The Guardian Games blog has an article on the background origins surrounding Microsoft’s Project Natal. It’s worth a quick look-see for anyone wondering about the technology behind the thing. Kotaku also had a picture up on their site, which is worryingly reminiscent of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kind-of freaky, if you ask me.

Kotaku also asked Sony about the expected PS3 price-drop at E3 – which, incidentally, never came. Their response was that they are going in a different direction of adding more content to the system, thereby increasing its value as a platform. Fair enough, I say. It would be a little premature to lower the price of the PS3 as that is something that would be more effective during the Christmas season. The PSP Go on the other hand…

Speaking of which, there was an article for the Go, in which Sony was asked about the console’s pricing strategy. They commented that “It’s targeting an early adopter, a tech enthusiast.” My question is, will the tech enthusiast want it, though? They also mentioned that they are trying to get retailers in on the digital distribution pie, possibly looking into vouchers sold at retail which would then act as tokens to download certain games via PSN. That’s answered one of my questions, anyway – why would a retailer support a product which takes away part of their business from them?

For those interested in Bioshock 2, there are hands-on impressions coming in from several different sites. The general opinion I’ve observed seems to be of a slight weariness over exactly how well the multiplayer will integrate with the final product.

Finally, the trailer for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, as seen from the Konami press conference, is now available online for all to witness. Interestingly, Joystiq has picked up on the fact that while Kojima has been emphasising that this is a new game, it actually isn’t, because we’ve already seen it before – albeit in a slightly different form, minus the Castlevania logo.

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Captain Picard, Begbie, Malfoy and Natascha McElhone: how could you possibly lose?

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